POPI: Pretreatment Optimization and Process Integration

view profile for John Gladden

John Gladden

Director of POPI

view profile for Alberto Rodriguez

Alberto Rodriguez

Deputy Director of POPI

view profile for Anthe George

Anthe George

Key Scientist, POPI

view profile for Ramana Pidatala

Ramana Pidatala

Senior Research Associate

Efficient pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass is a critical factor for the production of affordable biofuels and bioproducts. We have demonstrated that pretreatment using ionic liquids is one of the most effective methods for producing high yields of biomass-derived fermentable sugars. We have also discovered that certain molecular solvents that can be components of ionic liquids can also function as pretreatment solvents and we are exploring both classes of solvents to conduct process optimization and intensification campaigns with the goal of developing economically viable and scalable complete-biomass (sugars and lignin) deconstruction processes. We are currently focusing on several key aspects of the pretreatment process, including compatibility with chemical and biological lignin depolymerization technologies, developing facile and scalable recovery methods, and developing a process that is compatible with a broad range of plant feedstocks, both natural and engineered. To enable rapid development of these processes, we have developed a high throughput Feedstocks to Fuel Pipeline that is capable of testing a range of feedstocks, pretreatment solvents and bioconversion hosts to generate high-quality data for efforts across JBEI and our partner BRCs. We will continue to improve and expand the capabilities of this pipeline and are working to leverage the data generated within the pipeline to enable machine learning-base bioprocess and host organism optimization efforts.

Projects

  • Process optimization on process integration of pretreatment technologies implemented on native and engineered feedstocks.
  • Developing pretreatment methods that produce high-quality lignin for chemical and biological deconstruction.
  • Development of high-efficiency, scalable, and economical pretreatment solvent recovery and recycle methods.
  • Implementation of the Feedstocks to Fuel Pipeline to generate high-throughput and high-quality compositional, sugar and fermentation data to inform JBEI’s efforts in LEAD, Feedstocks, Deconstruction, and Biofuels and Bioproducts Divisions.

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